Phil went though, and we arrived Friday afternoon to school. I had two rides on Saturday – the first one inside and the second one outside. Phil had been to schooling shows inside before, but he had never schooled or shown in that particular outside arena.
My first attempt to school him was to just hop on and ride. Well, he was far too anxious for that. I was able to ride him, but it was super tense and ugly. So I had to put him on a lunge line and try to get him to relax. I was able to use some of the things my trainer taught me at boot camp (yes I KNOW I need to write that up) and help him relax a bit. Then I got back on and tried to school. It still wasn’t pretty, but we schooled the test.
It was getting dark by the time we went inside to school in there. Phil was a bit tired and much more relaxed so that went just fine. I put him to bed and headed home myself. I was pooped!
Saturday morning did not set a good tone for the show. First thing, I got my period. GREAT, THANKS. Then I got a call from a show friend “Hi, I just wanted to let you know that Phil’s face is bleeding.” FANTASTIC. I had a bridle rack hung over his stall, and in the process of flipping his grain bucket around while eating (which he always does) he gouged his face. Luckily for me my friends cleaned it up, and I stopped and got the Aluspray on the way to the show. Good thing he’s grey. My friend said “It looks like you glued a nickel to his forehead” cause the Aluspray is so shiny. Ah well.
I decided to lunge him again, and walk him around the arenas at lunch time. Then was out first test inside – Training Level Test 2. It went really well!
We ended up with a 66.964% and a first place! There was a tie, but I guess our collectives were better. Second test was outside - Training Level Test 3. The judges stand was a horse trailer. Yes, Phil had seen it the night before, but he was still super nervous about the whole thing. Plus the wind was blowing and there were cars pulling in and out. Not the best situation but we managed to get through it. 64.400% and 3rd place.
We were both tired by Sunday, the Championship. I had one ride, inside – Training Level Test 3. I lunged again, walked him around the arena at lunch, and then we were ready. He gave me such a nice test!
Then we waited for the awards. Here is the video. I’ve never been to one of these awards so I didn’t know how they would go. We didn’t know who had won when we came into the arena. Here’s the video.
I’m so super proud of my boy! He has come so far, and is still really trying. It’s fantastic. I’m so very lucky he found me when I wasn’t even looking.